Jointly Safeguard the Post-War International Order
Chinese Ambassador to Finland Chen Li
8 September 2020
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. 75 years ago, having learned hard lessons from the Second World War, the world established the post-war international order centered around the UN and based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Since then, peace and development have become the overriding theme of the times. The interests, well-beings and future of all countries are closely intertwined. Economic globalization, featuring free trade, witnessed huge progress especially since the end of the Cold War. New industries, forms of business and impetus have been emerging all the time, bringing tangible benefits to the whole world.
Evidently, the planet has not turned into paradise. On the contrary, problems including imbalance of development, deficits of governance and fairness are increasingly prominent with globalization. Regional conflicts and non-traditional security issues such as climate change and terrorism pose real threats to the international society. Instability and uncertainties in the international situation are growing markedly. Even worse, the COVID-19 has been a major factor undermining global health and impacting seriously on global economy and governance. The vulnerability and inter-dependency of human beings has never been so obvious under the pandemic.
Regrettably, when actions need to be taken, cooperation need to be strengthened and difficulties need to be overcome, human beings seems to once again stand at the crossroads where we have to make crucial choices, choices between multilateralism and unilateralism, openness and seclusion, solidarity and division, progress and regression.
So what should we choose? In today’s world, almost every question is cross-border and global. Globalization itself is not a Pandora Box. The economic patterns behind international division of labor and industry transfer cannot be modified in a forced manner. Long-term prosperity cannot be maintained through isolationism and protectionism or with the beggar-thy-neighbor approach. So we must choose solidarity and cooperation over seclusion and confrontation, choose multilateralism over unilateralism, and choose shared responsibility over blame games.
Faced with changes and a pandemic unseen in a century, major countries should be a stabilizer and share special international responsibility. As the world’s two largest economies and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the implications of China and the US and their relations have gone beyond bilateral to gain far-reaching global significance. However, some people are still obsessed with the Cold War mentality and strategic confrontation. By treating China-US relations as zero-sum game and by turning the current urgent global crisis into great power competition, they are stepping into the Thucydides Trap by themselves, and let China-US relations go down a wrong path. If the international system is plunged into disorder and confrontation, the world will be subject to the law of the jungle, which will be a calamity for human civilization.
The world will benefit from cooperation between China and the US, and suffer from confrontation between the two. In response to the current difficulties of the bilateral relations, China has sent clear signal to engage in communication and dialogue with the US in a candid, equal and constructive manner, so as to bring the relations back on track and bring more peaceful and stable expectation to the world.
China and the EU share essential consensus on the international order and global governance. Lately, the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee Yang Jiechi visited the European countries to have strategic communications on a series of key issues. The two sides delivered a shared message of upholding multilateralism against unilateralism, and strengthening solidarity and cooperation against division and decoupling.
China is ready to continue working with Europe and the international community. We are committed to take the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations as an opportunity to uphold multilateralism, free trade and the post-war international order.